Although robbery and burglary are often used interchangeably in daily conversations or even on the news, they are not the same thing. They are separate crimes with separate consequences. Here’s the breakdown of the difference between burglary and robbery in Texas.
The law: Under Texas Penal Code 30.02, an individual commits burglary if he or she, without consent of the owner, enters a building or structure with the intent of committing a felony, theft or assault.
The lowdown: Interestingly, an individual does not have to forcibly break into a building and steal anything to be charged with burglary. Simply entering a house or business that does not belong to you, even through an open door or window, with the intent to commit a crime — whether it’s theft or some other offense — can constitute burglary. For example, opening a window and looking around inside with a flashlight for something to steal, but running away without taking anything, could still lead to a burglary charge.
Unlike robbery, burglary does not involve a threat or an act of violence. In most cases, a victim is not present during the commission of a burglary. That’s a significant difference between robbery and burglary.
The law: Under Texas Penal Code 29.02, an individual commits robbery if, during the course of committing a theft, he or she:
The lowdown: Robbery is essentially theft using physical force or fear. While robbery is considered a crime of violence, the victim doesn’t have to suffer an actual physical injury for the suspect to be charged with robbery. For example, threatening to blow up a convenience store if the clerk doesn’t open the cash register constitutes robbery. Likewise, throwing a woman down and stealing her purse outside a grocery store would also be considered robbery.
Robbery does not require unlawfully entering a building. That’s a significant difference between robbery and burglary.
The punishment for robbery and burglary can vary greatly depending on the facts and whether there are any aggravating factors that can elevate, or enhance, the punishment.
|Using fear, intimidation, threat or physical force to steal money or property||Unauthorized entry into a building or structure with the intent to commit a crime|
|Theft is always involved||Theft isn't always involved|
|Occurs when a victim is present||Usually occurs when a victim is away|
|Considered a violent crime||Not necessarily a violent crime|
Are you or a loved one facing charges for burglary or robbery in Fort Worth or North Texas? Call today for a complimentary strategy session with an experienced Fort Worth criminal defense attorney. During this call we will:
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